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Thread: News Sites and Resources

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  1. #6
    Herder of Hamsters AW Admin's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    News Sites and Resources

    There are two broad categories in terms of kinds of sources used in factual non-fictive writing; primary sources and secondary sources.

    • Primary sources are the underpinnings of factual writing. They are the actual items that document events and people.
    • Secondary sources analyze and interpret primary resources.

    Primary Sources

    Primary resources provide firsthand evidence of historical events. They are generally unpublished materials such as manuscripts, photographs, maps, artifacts, audio and video recordings, oral histories, postcards, and posters. In some instances, published materials can also be viewed as primary materials for the period in which they were written. In contrast, secondary materials, such as textbooks, synthesize and interpret primary materials. Following are excerpts and examples from a variety of explanations provided by institutions that utilize primary resources.

    Primary sources are defined as
    actual records that have survived from the past, such as letters, photographs, articles of clothing." In contrast, secondary sources are accounts of the past created by people writing about events sometime after they happened.
    Examples of Primary Sources
    • Eyewitness accounts including: diaries, journals, speeches, interviews, letters, memos, manuscripts and other papers in which individuals describe events in which they were participants or observers
    • Memoirs and autobiographies
    • Records of organizations and agencies of government
    • Published materials written at the time of the event
    • Photographs, audio recordings, moving pictures, video recordings documenting what happened
    • Artifacts of all kinds including photographs, films, videos and sound recordings as well as other objects
    • Research reports in the sciences and social sciences

    Secondary Sources

    A secondary source is any source about an event, period, or issue in history that was produced after that event, period or issue has passed.
    A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or phenomenon.
    Secondary sources typically "synthesize and interpret primary materials." Often an indication of a good secondary resource is the extent to which the secondary source relies on and carefully cites and documents primary resources.

    Examples of Secondary Sources
    • Textbooks
    • Scholarly articles or monographs
    • Encyclopedias
    • Non-fiction critiques or analyses of primary resources

    When To Trust A Story That Uses Unnamed Sources
    A guide to unnamed sources in government/politics/Washington stories — who they are, how reporters use them, and how to tell if you should trust what they say via
    Last edited by AW Admin; 07-19-2017 at 03:07 AM.

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